Manuel Charr vs. Fres Oquendo canceled with contract unsigned

The fight between secondary heavyweight world titlist Manuel Charr and mandatory challenger Fres Oquendo, already long overdue, has been canceled.

The fight was on at least its third date -- April 6 in Munich -- but was canceled when Oquendo failed to sign the contract by Friday's deadline, Patrick English, the attorney for Charr promoter Global Sports Management, told ESPN on Sunday.

Previously, Oquendo co-promoter John Wirt said the money for the bout was already in an American escrow account and all terms had been agreed to.

The bout previously had been scheduled for Sept. 29 in Cologne, Germany, but it was called off when Charr tested positive for two banned substances, the anabolic steroids epitrenbolone and drostanolone, in a random test conducted by the Voluntary Anti-Doping Association. Charr was suspended by the WBA, but the sanctioning body did not strip him of the belt while it investigated the situation.

After Charr's B sample was opened and also positive, Charr claimed that his rights to have a representative present for the opening of the B sample were ignored.

The WBA decided to lift the ban and issued a ruling on Jan. 21 in which it ordered Charr and Oquendo to fight within 60 days.

"Because of the lapse of time since the taking of the A and B samples, and the communication issues alleged by Charr, the suspension is recalled," the WBA wrote in the January resolution.

The fight was rescheduled for March 23 in Cologne and then moved again to April 6. And now the bout is off altogether, English said.

English said Oquendo and his team gave no reason for the decision to not sign the contract. Wirt could not be reached for comment.

Charr (31-4, 17 KOs), 34, a Syria native who fights out of Germany, won the vacant second-tier title -- England's Anthony Joshua holds the WBA's top title -- by unanimous decision against Alexander Ustinov in Oberhausen, Germany, in November 2017, but he has not fought since.

Oquendo (37-8, 24 KOs), 45, of Chicago, has not been a relevant contender for many years and has not boxed since losing a majority decision to Ruslan Chagaev for the same vacant title in July 2014. Injuries and other issues prevented him from fighting for the title again since, but the WBA says it believes it is obligated to give him a title opportunity based on the outcome of a federal lawsuit from several years ago.

However, now that Oquendo has passed on the fight, it would seem as though that obligation is over and the WBA would order Charr to fight interim titlist Trevor Bryan (20-0, 14 KOs), 29, of Schenectady, New York.